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Thread: Japan :)

  1. #1

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    Japan :)

    Hello everyone!!

    first of all many thanks to those who helped me deciding which cameras to bring with me on this upcoming trip

    second..I wanted to as you, do any of you have any lovely previous experience of visiting japan?

    I'm going to be in the country for nearly 2 months, visiting mainly : tokyo, nikko, hakone, osaka, kyoto, nara, kobe and hiroshima.

    I've been reading lonely planet guide and made research on the net, but I thought I would ask here as well if there is any special location that impressed you or some place that you would recommend

    many thanks!

  2. #2

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    I've been to most of the cities you mention and they all have famous sites that popular for tourists. What I really liked about Japan are the mountains and more rural areas.

    You didn't mention how you plan to get around, but I assume it will be mostly by train, since you can get just about anyplace in Japan by train. If you can go to some of the small towns on the branch lines in the countryside you will be surprised at what you find. At least I was.

    Dave

  3. #3
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Well, I lived in Japan for six years, and I've just come back from working and travelling there for two months in the summer, and I agree with Dave. All of those cities are on the standard tourist trail (both foreign and domestic), and have plenty to see and do while visiting. I can't really comment on Nikko or Hakone, but personally I found Osaka and Kobe to be boring (as a tourist). Great cities to live in, but not really much to capture your imagination. I lived in Hiroshima for two years and would definitely recommend going to Miyajima. Don't just do it in half a day, like most people. Explore the island -- it's not that big and there's lots to see besides the shrine. Stay late -- the ferries run until at least 10 or 11 p.m. and you'll get a much different feel for the island (and the lit-up Torii gate) than during the day. They have a pretty interesting fire festival that takes place on New Years Eve, if you're still there around that time.

    I love and hate Kyoto. It's way overrated as a city -- it looks pretty much like every other concrete-based city in Japan -- but it does have some fantastic temples and shrines and gardens. There's one place I went that is near the beaten track, but just enough off of it that nobody goes there. Great for photography. I'll have to let you know more about it later, when I'm at home and have the proper information. Nara is worth more than a day trip, if you have the time.

    If you have access to a car, I would really recommend the Sea of Japan coast, especially in the Chugoku area (Tottori, Shimane, Yamaguchi). The sea is beautiful and you can find some of classic, traditional landscapes that are missing in most of Japan due to poor urban planning and cedar forests. Similarly, going as far north or south as you can would give you some great experiences, although once you get past early November the weather and landscapes can be pretty blah until spring arrives.

    If you can, try to get to as many festivals or other events as you can. Early November has shichi-go-san day (seven-five-three) when children are dressed in their first kimonos and taken to shrines or temples to pray. I've never taken photographs on that day because I always seemed to be working, but you could get a nice slice of an old custom still going strong today.

    Anyway, these are just a few ideas for the moment. If you have more specific questions I can try to answer them here or via pm.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Hakone lake district is beautiful as are the hot springs.

    Mt. Mitaka is also nice but off the beaten path. It will get you into rural areas with high mountains and rushing rivers. It is bout a 1 day round trip and there is a beautiful cable car there and a great view of Mt. Fuji. And, you are kind of looking down into the lake Hakone district.

    PE

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    Hello guys!

    many thanks for your advices I will mostly go around by train.

    I'm looking for some lovely events there as well And it would be great to go to the shichi-go-san day! (thank you mooseontheloose!)
    I saw that on Miyajima the monks have a festival on the 15th of November, but I'm not sure I will be able to be there in that day. I'm still trying to arrange al the dates of the travel so that they will work together. (I should hurry up as I'm leaving wednesday hehe)

    I love and hate Kyoto. It's way overrated as a city -- it looks pretty much like every other concrete-based city in Japan -- but it does have some fantastic temples and shrines and gardens. There's one place I went that is near the beaten track, but just enough off of it that nobody goes there. Great for photography. I'll have to let you know more about it later, when I'm at home and have the proper information. Nara is worth more than a day trip, if you have the time.
    If you find the name of the place, it would be amazing to go there!


    Mt. Mitaka is also nice but off the beaten path. It will get you into rural areas with high mountains and rushing rivers. It is bout a 1 day round trip and there is a beautiful cable car there and a great view of Mt. Fuji. And, you are kind of looking down into the lake Hakone district.
    thanks PhotoEngineer! I will look for it on the map. I'm staying 3 weeks in Tokyo, so hopefully I may have time go a little bit out of the city too

  6. #6

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    As a very long term resident of Japan, I suggest you take the MF camera. You will appreciate the extra negative area when you get back.

    If you need any information feel free to drop me a pm

    Gary
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
    Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.

  7. #7
    Toffle's Avatar
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    I second any recommendations for Hakone and Nara. I for one really enjoyed Kyoto. (much more than Osaka... which is the only place I felt claustrophobic in Japan...) Tokyo is Tokyo. I found so much to shoot there. I did miss rural Japan on my trip several years ago. And I would very much have liked to explore the more remote areas of the north.

    Enjoy,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

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  8. #8
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Himeiji is very nice and a bit off the beaten track for foreign visitors.

    I also enjoyed Hiroshima very much.... full of interesting scenes, and there is the island of Miyajima nearby.
    Last edited by keithwms; 10-09-2009 at 12:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  9. #9

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    Nikko is a beautiful place and should be spectacular during the foliage color change. It is very popular with the Japanese, so expect crowds. After a long day, a dip in the hot springs!

  10. #10
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    Everybody does Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Hiroshima.... Don't forget Kyushu! I lived there for twelve years, just south of Fukuoka City. The volcanic region of Aso near Kumamoto City is quite interesting. Nagasaki City is a great little gem, too. I just spent the summer wandering around Kyushu with my little Mamiya RB and 50 rolls of TMY-2. Took me forever to develop all that film as I only have one tank (I normally shoot 8x10). Anyways, don't count out Kyushu. The women are better looking there, too.

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